Muay Thai fans around the world will be rubbing their hands in anticipation for the return of Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex against Luis “Soot Raaeng Geert” Regis in the main event of ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS.
However, it would not be one of ONE Championship’s signature blockbuster live events without a stacked undercard of mixed martial arts and ONE Super Series bouts in support of the headline act.
Among the hometown heroes, promotional debutants, and World Champion athletes, there are a selection of bouts that have the potential to electrify the fans at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Here are just three of the match-ups that could steal the show.
Alex Silva VS Yosuke Saruta
Alex Silva made this submission look EASY.Kuala Lumpur | 7 December | 6:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedestiny18
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, 1 December 2018
The matchmakers of the world’s largest martial arts organization were kind to the fans when they paired former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva (7-2) against Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta (17-8-3).
Silva is ready to start his quest back to the belt now held by Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, but he will have to get through a dynamic and dangerous athlete – who his making his first appearance in ONE – to take his first step along that path.
The Japanese debutant may be new to The Home Of Martial Arts, but he has plenty of experience in other organizations and has caught the attention of hardcore fans for his aggressive style.
“Tobizaru” punches with alarming power for a man of such small stature, and rarely hesitates to try and stop opponents when he is on the mat. His efforts took him to the Shooto Strawweight World Championship, which proves he can handle the pressure of the big occasion.
On the other side of the cage, one of Evolve’s resident submission machines is one of the sport’s most dynamic grappling finishers, with 86 percent of his wins coming by way of tapout so far in his career.
He has also shown dangerous Muay Thai skills in recent bouts, which means this contest could be close to a finish wherever it plays out.
Vitaly Bigdash VS Yuki Niimura
Sledgehammer-like strikes from Vitaly Bigdash! Kuala Lumpur | 7 December | 6:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedestiny18
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, 1 December 2018
Former ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash (9-2) welcomes a promotional newcomer to The Home Of Martial Arts on 7 December when he squares off against Pancrase Middleweight World Champion Yuki “Yu-King” Niimura (12-4).
Bigdash is always one of the most anticipated athletes on any card, known for engaging in consistently exciting battles. Earlier this year, the dynamic Russian was featured in the third and fourth spots in ONE’s Top 100 Bouts list for his epic World Title encounters against Igor Svirid and Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang, respectively.
The Akhmat Fight Team representative is also a clinical finisher, with eight of his nine victories inside the distance. His Japanese foe is just as dangerous. He has stopped 10 of his opponents – nine by way of knockout.
Between them, the middleweight warriors have 14 first-round finishes and the ability to end a contest at any point. However, when the occasion demands it, they can grit their teeth and trade – eating their opponent’s strikes to land their own.
Expect an exciting spectacle when two powerhouses from Russia and Japan meet in Malaysia.
Mei Yamaguchi VS Jomary Torres
Will Mei Yamaguchi stake her claim to a World Title shot this Friday?Kuala Lumpur | 7 December | 6:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedestiny18
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, 5 December 2018
The clash between Japan’s Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi (17-11-1) and the Philippines’ Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres (4-1) may not be getting as much attention as some of the other bouts on this card, but it is one of the most intriguing match-ups on the promotion’s 2018 finale.
Yamaguchi is as tough, and as well-rounded, as they come.
The 35-year-old is a durable athlete equipped with a BJJ black belt, strong grappling, and a cannon of a right hand — just ask reigning atomweight queen Angela Lee. The two-time ONE World Title challenger constantly attacks her opponents with her vast array of skills, and does not let up for a second.
Also, she is seemingly impossible to finish. In fact, no one has been able to submit “V.V.” or knock her out in her nearly 12-year mixed martial arts career.
However, Torres is determined to become the first. The 22-year-old Filipina has defied the odds ever since joining the promotion in August 2017. She submitted Rika Ishige in her debut, out-worked Nita Dea in her second appearance, and then knocked out Team Lakay’s April Osenio in 40 seconds flat.
Although Torres loves to wrestle, Yamaguchi could negate that and force her into a stand-up war. Both competitors can throw leather, and each warrior is extra motivated to get back into the win column and contend for the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title.
These two produce fireworks every time they enter the ONE cage, and fans can expect this tradition to continue on Friday.
Kuala Lumpur | 7 December | 6:30 PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onedestiny18